“Telling purposeful stories is interactive. It’s not a monolog. Ultimately, purposeful tellers must surrender control of their stories, creating a gap for the listener(s) to willingly cross in order to take ownership. Only when the listener(s) own the tellers’ story and make it theirs, will they virally market it”. – Peter Guber
We have over several expositions spoken about the importance of content and the role it plays in dramatically improving customer engagement. There is no dearth of different kinds of content – blogs, articles, info-graphics and whole plethora of information, which prove to be extremely effective to boost customer engagement. However, just like with any other sphere of business and customer service, it would be beneficial to create and add something new and interesting to arrest the customer’s attention. In this regard, interactive content is gaining ground and popularity leading a number of companies to look at this type of content actively. Using interactive content to boost customer engagement is about creating content that customers and others can ‘interact’ with, giving them a sense of involvement. Such content has enhanced capability of rising above the din and allowing customers to network with one another and the company. Everyone knows that content (in any form) is king but with limited resources companies find it hard to stand out among others. Well-articulated and properly presented interactive content can boost customer engagement given that customers would be actively involved in it.
Content should be both informative and interactive to get maximum out of it and enhance the chances to boost customer engagement. Interactive and meaningful content not only draws customers and gets their attention, it also keeps them engaged and interested for a longer period of time – which in turn leads to customers learning more about a company and discovering more ways to gain from the association. While the power of the written word must not and cannot be undermined, interactive content affords customers and readers the opportunity to become involved rather than be passive receivers. There are a number of different kinds of interactive content that when used effectively can boost customer engagement. Some of these include – interactive videos, webinars, info-graphics, surveys and quizzes and many other such engagement boosting content. Putting together interactive content will not be enough to boost customer engagement – the content must be readily available and easily accessible. What do you think is the best way to optimize interactive content to boost customer engagement?
Many companies ‘hide’ this precious content behind ‘gates and walls’. This simply put means that before a customer or other reader can access this content they are usually met with a ‘request’ to fill out a subscription form which asks for their personal data. Many people are wary of doing so and hence ‘skip’ the opportunity to read the content and the company ends up failing to engage the person. It would be easier to gain engagement if people had access to the interactive content – it would prove more valuable and would stoke their interest.
As people become interested in the content offered, another way to boost customer engagement is by ‘throwing challenges at them’ during the course of the content. Many companies weave in quizzes and very short questionnaires into the content – this stimulates the interest of the readers. There is also usually a request to ‘share’ their quiz results with others via social media, giving them a chance to show off their knowledge while spreading word about the content to their friends and associates. For the company this translates to the promotion of their company and the content they offer, increasing their chances of attracting more customers.
The fact is that interactive content can boost customer engagement because it provides a purpose – something to do in addition to gaining knowledge. For the company, the benefit is that they get ready information on how their content is received, the interest it generates and provides leads on what more can be done to ensure that they attract more customers and raise the level of engagement for their existing ones. Without such information and assessment, a company would never know how to better their content and what kind of content their target audience prefers.
In an earlier exposition, we spoke at length about the power of interactive video marketing to boost customer engagement. Customers and other viewers get the opportunity to ‘interact’ with the video by following the instructions – clicking or tapping on the screen of the device they may be using to view the videos. As a customer would you prefer only to watch a video or would you love to be ‘part’ of it and be afforded the opportunity to share it with your friends and associates? In addition, interactive videos lend a human feel since there would be people speaking, playing music or putting on other ‘acts’. Such personalization engages viewers a lot more – some companies also use cute and cuddly animals in their promotional videos adding to the engagement factor. The premise behind interactive videos is simple – boost customer engagement by showing the human and personal side of the company. It becomes more likeable and customers can relate to it more easily.
The most popular and one of the most effective means of gaining customer attention is by asking them for their opinion and views. In everyday life too, we know that our ego gets a boost and we feel a sense of importance when someone asks for our opinion. In the same way, existing and prospective customers love the opportunity to display their knowledge through such surveys and polls. In addition, they also enjoy reading and knowing what others have to say – hence revealing the answers and scores of such polls on the company website and social media sites attracts attention and is a great way to boost customer engagement. The other purpose that such surveys and polls serve is to show customers that the company is committed to listening and that their opinion is extremely important for the company and its dedication to better customer service. Polls and surveys therefore have a three-fold interaction with customers – the actual poll, the results and providing customers the opportunity to share the results.
What are the different methods your company uses to interact with its customers in an attempt to boost engagement? Whatever you use, remember, to make it easy to access and navigate and encourages the readers to share it as many times as they deem appropriate. In order to boost customer engagement, ensure that customers can share parts from the entire content if they so wish and can do so from any smart and portable device they may be using. This is important since customers would know best as to which parts of the content would be most relevant for them and the people they wish to share it with – allowing them to ‘break down’ the content, gives them a sense of control and they would look forward to reading and sharing more information released by your company.
As we mentioned, without proper distribution, the most interactive content would not be of use to anyone. Companies have the responsibility to ensure that great content reaches as many people as possible and hence its distribution must be planned carefully at the start. When it reaches the ‘right audience’, these viewers will ensure it spreads if they believe the content would be useful to their friends and associates. Creating and disseminating interactive content has its sure benefits. It will boost customer engagement by giving them a sense of control and power – leading to the success of a company.